Wednesday, September 19, 2007

U.S. Episcopal church faces another showdown on gays

[TitrusOneNine] 19 Sep 2007--At the top of the agenda is a "request" issued by the presiding Anglican bishops meeting in Africa earlier this year that the 2.4-million-member U.S. church, by September 30, clearly renounce the blessing of same-sex marriages and make it clear it will not allow more non-celibate gays to become bishops.

The U.S. church in 2003 consecrated Gene Robinson of New Hampshire as the first bishop known to be in an openly gay relationship in more than four centuries of church history.

That not only caused dissension and defection within the U.S. church but riled defenders of traditional Christianity in African, Asian and Latin American congregations that now account for half of the world's Anglican followers.

And it left Williams with an increasingly difficult task of keeping the loose federation of Anglicans under one tent without alienating the U.S. church whose wealth gives it power far beyond its numbers in Anglican operations worldwide.

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